Leadville Rattler 66k a chance to qualify for the Leadville 100 mile race across the sky.
I had been preparing for this event for quite some time, it has been a hard training camp I have been doing. From 20 miles at a relatively faster pace than my usual to 18 miles of rolling hills east of the Whiterock lake and to those evening runs on rolling hills in North Irving. It has been a heavy training journey and that time to prove it has come. It is time to leave it all out there and go for the qualifying entry. This race took place a week after the Rock and Roll Dallas Half Marathon a.k.a. my speed training.
While driving over to Bastrop there were a series of events that at the time didn’t pay attention to. But, here it is hopefully I am right. So it all started that nor my wife of wake up on time. I woke up at around 11:00 a.m. I walked the dogs and packed the rest of the stuff I was planning on bringing with me. After all of the packing, we managed to start driving to lunch at 1 pm. We had lunch and started driving towards Austin. When we were arriving at Georgetown I noticed the air condition was not working. So I started troubleshooting the issue while driving. It ended up being an isolated issue with the cabin filter. Really, a cabin filter issue in the so-called driving machine? anyways, we stopped at AutoZone to find out they would have to order the filter, so we had to continue without having cold air blowing. If you happen to remember the temperature that day, it was in the mid 80s and humid.
Thankfully we arrived to the hotel without any other incident. It was 9 pm and I checked the weather for the last time, it was to be 60 degrees and 70% humidity. I said well, it will be cold at leas.
While driving to the race we experienced dense fog on the highway! we got to the starting line and it was muddy and wet all over that area. It was relatively cold but humid.
There was an announcement where they would be cutting a section of the trail because of the heavy mud concentration.
We started pretty fast, I was in front of the pack of 6 -8 people for the first 6 miles and it was only getting warmer as we continued on the run. we hit several spots where the mud was slippery and wet, so we had to do a bit of walking through the bushes to avoid the heavy mud concentration area.
We continued with the fast pace but rather a slower pace as I was starting to catch up with the front of the pack again. At that point, I realized it was too early to push the pace and decided to back off or suffer on the second lap. I stayed at a nice pace but not too relaxed, more like a 6:30 pace. We completed the first lap, so we stopped at bag drop, where I removed my headlamp my hand warmers and everything else I didn’t need. I dropped my Hat! That was my lucky hat, even though I don’t believe in luck that hat makes me feel comfortable!
we went on for the second lap, I drank too much water so I felt sluggish and slow. So, I allowed myself to catch up by slowing down, way down. Then I speed up in a mile or so, thankfully nobody passed me. I started moving and slowly I started to get in my groove and was able to push my self once more. It was interesting that in the first lap around, the ground was slippery by now the ground had become sticky! If you have ever run on partially wet clay, then you know how that feels. It was sticky and slippery so my body was compensating to support me from falling. Thankfully I only felt down once going across a small creek. I was able to continue the whole race without stopping, I would only slow down until every water station where I replenished my water bottles and everything else I needed to.
I finished the race without any major incidents to report and sprinted the last quarter mile to the finish line, I made people cheer me on when they saw me sprinting! lol btw, my wife missed my finishing performance. But on her defense, I told her It would take me 6 hrs to finish and it took me 5:22 to finish so yes. That was a great performance.
I was asked by the organizer If I had been to Leadville before and I said yes, he then asked me if I wanted to run the Leadville 100 and I said yes. He asked, have you ran the Leadville 100 before and I said yes. He responded well if you want to go, get on the raffle!!! —- This was an awful questionnaire I’ve been part of. What If I had lied and said, no I have never participated in the Leadville 100? I leave this up in the air as I am very upset still about this whole situation. 12th place male finish.
Leason learned, no matter how much you train, how much you want it always be prepared for the worst. I had forgotten that here it is again: “Expect the worst but hope for the best!”